Recent events have challenged parents to become even more creative with activities for their families, especially if kids are spending six and a half hours in front of the computer screen for remote learning each day. With limitations on time and travel, parents have increasing concerns about the social impacts as children spend their days interacting through a computer screen.
How can our kids bond with distant relatives or even friends in the same neighborhood—the very people who shape who they are and who they will become—if we continue to focus on the negative effects of screen time? It is time to put aside that love-hate relationship with laptops and embrace the latest trends in online family nights!
What is a Virtual Hangout?
A virtual hangout allows us to dial into an online meeting and participate with both audio and video. Originally created for businesses to be more productive, it has become a lifeline for families and friends who crave connection and socialization.
While online family nights may be seeing a rise due to the current health crisis, it is unlikely that the popularity will decrease anytime soon. These online formats allow for gathering safely with friends and family, plus they offer flexibility. You can meet with loved ones across different time zones simultaneously and create lasting memories that can be captured in screenshots or recorded video.
What Do We Do During a Virtual Hangout?
There is so much to be done virtually! When travel resumes, it is likely that families and friends will continue to meet for online family nights through the various sites and applications. Where else can you get everyone together for a tour of a museum, a trip to the zoo, or an art class without having to get dressed, ready, and out the door on time? Virtual hangouts give families in different households a way to stay connected and have fun together safely from their living rooms. Fun ideas for online family nights include:
- dance competitions
- video gaming
- traditional games, like Charades, BINGO, or Would You Rather
- themed trivia nights
How Do I Create a Memorable Online Family Night?
Creating a memorable virtual hangout with your family is as easy as logging on and being present. Scheduling a time where all participants prepare and eat a meal together can create a very impactful activity. For a memorable virtual dinner, everyone can make the same recipe or make different meals and swap recipes.
Raise a glass to celebrate togetherness and good health, and make sure to encourage open conversation. Families and friendships are strengthened through the opportunity to share experiences and stresses. Plus, talking at the dinner table helps younger children learn to communicate better. When children discuss their experiences at school, parents learn more about their frustrations and encourage them to talk through solutions.
At Breakie Bunch, we care about your children even when they are at home with you. From infants to preschoolers and beyond, keeping children engaged and feeling loved is the core of our daycare programs. We hope that our ideas help do the same at home!